World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Wespe, SdKfz 124

Design

The Wespe used a PzKpfw II Ausf F chassis that was lengthened and the engine was moved forward. The fighting compartment was at the rear and was open to the top and rear.

Was named the Wespe but Hitler ordered the name dropped on February 27, 1944.

Armament

The muzzle velocity was 470 m/s / 1,542'/s. The HE shell weighed 32.7 lbs and was fired at a muzzle velocity of 1,772'/sec. The range was 11,679 yards. If the gun was fitted with a muzzle brake and an Fernladung (extra charge) then the range was 13,450 yards.

Production

  • Wespe: 676, 683
    • Production: 1942 - 1944, February 1943- July 1944, 1943 - 1944
    • Manufacturer: FAMO at Warsaw
      • Chassis: MAN-Alkett
      • Superstructure: Alkett
      • Howitzer: Rheinmetall-Borsig
  • Ammunition Carrier: 158, 159

Variants

  • Wespe; le FH 18/2 auf Fgst PzKpfw II (Sf) Wespe; GW II für 10.5cm le FH 18/1 Wespe; Leichte Feldhaubitze 18/2 auf Fahrgestell PzKpfw II (SF) Wespe, SdKfz 124, "Wasp"; 10.5 cm Le.F.H. 18/2 auf Fahrgestell Panzer II (sf) Wespe; 10.5 cm L.F.H. 18/2 auf GW II, Wespe:
  • Ammunition Carrier: Had a plate in the gun slot that could be removed in the field and a 105 mm gun placed. Could carry 90 rounds. It carried a driver and 2 gunners.

Usage

These were usually used by divisional artillery batteries of the Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. Wespes were organized into batteries of 6 howitzers with up to 5 batteries to an Abteilung (battalion).

Battle of Kursk

The Wespe first entered service at Battle of Kursk in 1943.

Specifications

  Wespe, SdKfz 124, "Wasp"
Crew Driver, gun crew (5)
5
Radio FuG Spr f
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 24,660 lb, 24,251 lb
11,000 kg, 11,480 kg
10.8 tons, 11 tons, 11.5 tons, 12.1 tons
Length w/gun 15.8', 15' 8", 15' 9.4"
4.79 m, 4.81 m
Length w/o gun 15' 8", 15' 9"
4.79 m
Height 7' 6.5", 7' 6.6", 7.6', 7' 7", 7' 10.5"
2.3 m, 2.32 m
Width 7' 3.5", 7' 5.75", 7' 5.7", 7' 4", 7.5'
2.24 m, 2.28 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 13.4"
36 cm
Ground contact length 94.5"
2.4 m
Ground pressure 10.9 psi
0.82 kg/cm2
Armament  
Main 10.5 cm leFH8M L/28
10.5 cm howitzer
105 mm leFH 18 field howitzer
105 mm Howitzer, 18/1
10.5 cm leFH 18/2 L/28 howitzer
10.5 cm L.F.H. 18/2, L/28
Secondary  
MG 7.92 mm MG34
7.92 mm MG
7.9 mm MG34
Side arms 2: MP38
Quantity  
Main 32, 40
22: HE, 8: HC
Secondary  
MG 600
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 18, 30
Front: 0.7"
Side: 0.6"
Hull Front, Upper 10, 20@30°, 20@60-75°
Hull Front, Lower 10, 30@15°, 20@75°
Hull Sides, Upper 15@0°, 15@90°
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°
Hull Rear 8@0° & 15@10°, 20@90°
Hull Top 10@90°
Hull Bottom 5@90°
Superstructure Front 12, 10@24°, 12@69°
Superstructure Sides 10@17°, 10@73°
Superstructure Rear 8, 10@16°, 10@74°, open
Superstructure Top open
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 62 TR
Maybach
Bore / stroke 4 cycles
Cooling Water
Cylinders I-6, 6, R-6
Net HP 140, 140@2,600 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh, SSG/46
6 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric
Electrical system 12-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 37 gallons, 45 gallons
170 liters
Road consumption 1.9 mpg
Cross country consumption 1.3 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 10° each way, ±20°
17° left, 17° right
Speed - Road 25 mph, 24.85 mph, 24.8 mph
40 kph
Speed - Cross Country 12.5 mph
20 kph
Range - Road 87 miles, 127 miles, 136 miles, 136.7 miles, 137 miles
140 km, 220 km
Range - Cross Country 59 miles
95 km
Turning radius 4.8 m
Elevation limits -5° to +42°
Fording depth 2' 7.5", 3'
0.8 m
Trench crossing

5.6', 6'
1.7 m

Vertical obstacle 1', 1' 4.5"
42 cm
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
Suspension (Type) Each wheel attached to a movable arm which is attached to a 1/4 elliptic spring and rests next to a roller on the hull
Wheels each side 5
Return rollers each side 3
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length 7' 10.5"
Track width 11.8"
28 cm
Diameter  
Number of links 106
Pitch 3.6"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 6.2', 6' 2"
1.88 m

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  5. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  6. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site